KASHISH 2017 will crowdfund South Asia's biggest LGBTQ film festival

APRIL,2017: For the fifth year in a row, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will be raising funds to hold the eighth edition of South Asia's biggest LGBTQ film festival through crowdfunding. The global campaign to raise funds was launched on India's leading crowdfunding portal - Wishberry. India’s only mainstream LGBTQ film festival will be held in Mumbai from May 24-May 28, 2017. The festival venues are the city’s iconic art deco theatre Liberty Cinema and Alliance Francaise in South Mumbai.

KASHISH was the first LGBT event to successfully raise money throughcrowdfunding in 2012. "KASHISH has relied crowdfunding to not onlyraise funds to organise the festival but also create awareness about the needto support such initiatives," said festival director Sridhar Rangayan."Though the crowdfunding is a gap funding, it is an integral part of whatKASHSH is, as it offers a bridge for everyone, who love and believe in theimportant work that KASHISH does, to be a part of it and support it. Crowdfundingconnects the festival and its well-wishers in India and globally. We needthe financial support, but most importantly we need the love," saidRangayan. "The success of KASHISH's crowdfunding campaign over the lastfive years is also a reflection of the immense faith people put in us that wecan organise a world-class festival that Mumbai and India can be proudof," added Rangayan.

The crowdfunding link is: https://www.wishberry.in/campaign/kashish-2017-diverse-one/

The target for this year is to raise Rs 3 lakhs, which will partly fundthe festival expenses including theatre and equipment rentals. To furtherdeepen its engagement and provide a platform for Indian filmmakers whomake films on LGBT themes, KASHISH 2017 crowdfunding campaign will also usepart of the funds raised for a scholarship for selected filmmakers from outsideMumbai to come to the film festival and interact with the audience, film makingfraternity and showcase their films. For those who contribute there areincentives like Tshirts, passes for the exclusive opening night Red Carpetparty and Dress Circle seats. 

For KASHISH the crowd funding campaign is crucial. "There are nopublic grants for film festivals in India, and top brands have yet come forwardto support an LGBTQ initiative. We are fortunate to have some corporate andconsular support, but the festival every year is barely able to sustain,"said Rangayan.  

The theme of the festival this year is ‘Diverse, One’. The theme ofKASHISH 2017 explores the diversity of the LGBTQ community. The diverse shadesof the rainbow remind us that as people we are all different and we are allunique.  

Since the campaign began last week, it has received enthusiasticsupport. Some of the regular contributors had this to say of KASHISH's previouscrowdfunding campaigns. “My experience at the event had been incrediblyvaluable. So I felt the least I could do was support them. I also had no doubtsthat the funds would be utilised well. I doubt they break even," saidMumbai-based Jerry Johnson. “I support KASHISH because this is the largestfilm festival in India that is supporting LGBT themed movies and causes. Aspart of LGBT community, I do not see much representation of our lives inmainstream films and society which is actually a shame considering Indianculture is seen as one of inclusiveness and tolerance. So, events like KASHISH,where LGBT lives are shown with pride and a safe space is created for community- I am all for it. Real change in opening people's minds will start throughdialogue and I believe KASHISH is playing that critical role," said SameerSamudra, who is based in the US.


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